News Release

January 3, 2005

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

Joining Forces in the Fight Against Cancer

UConn Health Center and American Cancer Society Sign Collaborative Agreement

FARMINGTON, CONN. – The University of Connecticut Health Center and the American Cancer Society, New England Division, are joining forces in the fight against cancer. The two organizations recently signed a collaborative agreement to work together on a number of key initiatives, including education programs for medical providers and consumers, advocacy and outreach efforts throughout the community, and special programs for patients and families.

“We share many common goals and an unwavering commitment to tackle the fight against cancer on several different fronts such as awareness, education and the delivery of comprehensive and compassionate care for patients,” said Carolyn D. Runowicz, M.D., director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UConn Health Center.

“Working with the American Cancer Society enhances the support services we provide our patients and strengthens our ability to reach out to the community,” added Dr. Runowicz, who was recently named President Elect of the American Cancer Society nationally and will become president in 2005.

“We actively seek to collaborate with local hospitals to help provide the best possible care to men and women who are diagnosed with cancer, and promote the overall goals of the American Cancer Society to eliminate cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service,” said Sarah Shafir, M.P.H., the state vice president for cancer control of the American Cancer Society. She added that the American Cancer Society has a resource center for patients at the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Through the collaborative agreement, the UConn Health Center and the American Cancer Society will work together to:

  • Educate medical providers on new advances in all aspects of cancer care, from prevention and diagnosis to treatments and palliative care,
  • Network within the greater Hartford community to share new information about cancer care, especially prevention and early detection services,
  • Provide supportive services to patients at the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, including ACS programs such as the Reach to Recovery® education program for breast cancer patients and I Can Cope® programs for patients and families,
  • Promote awareness about cancer prevention and early detection among the nearly 4,000 employees of the UConn Health Center.

“Both the UConn Health Center and the American Cancer Society are stronger when working together. This agreement allows both of us to extend our reach and promote our common goals,” said Steven Strongwater, M.D., director of clinical operations at the UConn Health Center.

The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center provides a full spectrum of cancer services, from education and prevention strategies to early detection services, innovative, state-of-the-art treatments, reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation and support services. In addition, patients at the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center can participate in a range of clinical trials and research studies. Services are provided in a convenient location at the UConn Health Center campus in Farmington. For more information, visit

Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the American Cancer Society has 14 regional divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more lifesaving information, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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